Saturday, March 29, 2008

How Come I Haven't Heard Of Clemency Pogue?


I have not been shy about voicing my dislike for fairies. (Gag.) So imagine the joy I felt when I stumbled upon Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer by J.T. Petty. Yes! Fairies die! They're killed either accidentally or in self-defense, so I don't feel too evil for taking satisfaction in their demise. And they're killed in a really cool way.

Guess what you do with a dead fairy. You flush her! Come on! That's great!

Clemency Pogue is a young girl who has to save herself from one witchy little fairy. In doing so, she accidentally wipes out a half dozen of the little mites. She learns of her...I don't know...slip-up?...crime?...from a hobgoblin who becomes her sidekick as she tries to make things right again.

This is a very clever, witty book, the first in a series of three that have been published since 2005. How come I haven't heard about them?

I have to admit that the word play and humor is a bit sophisticated. For instance, younger kids might not get all the nuances in the scene with the Hooooope Lesssss boy trying to use the Song of Solomon as inspiration for the love poem he's writing. (Since I only know the Song of Solomon by reputation, perhaps I don't get all the nuances, either.) But surely there are widely read middle grade and middle school students who will enjoy the chapter about the kid who tries to frame his dog for peeing on the couch. I know I did.

The Clemency Pogue books are short, and they are fairy stories that boys ought to like as much as girls. We're talking a quick, fun read here. Maybe I'll feel differently after I finish the second one (I picked it up at the library on Thursday), but at this point I have to wonder why no one is talking about these books.

5 comments:

MotherReader said...

I'm a big fan of this series myself. I think they are very clever and I've booktalked the first title in schools by saying that it's part dark comedy, part fantasy, and part Lemony Snicket. Then I read the introduction saying if this is your sort of humor, you'll love the book. If not, feel free to try it anyway.

I do think the first one is the best, and is the only one that stands alone.

Kelly said...

I haven't read these, Gail...but now I will.

gail said...

Oh, dear, Pam. If it turns into one of those installment series, I'm going to be disappointed.

Kelly--I often sell people on books here. Unfortunately, they are all the work of other authors!

J. L. Bell said...

When I read the first of these, I thought it was most interesting as evidence that Lemony Snicket had opened the door again to intrusive narrative voices. I honestly don't remember much more about it.

gail said...

I'm not much of a Lemony Snicket fan and have only read one or two of the books, so I wouldn't be aware of Snicket connections. If I were to compare Clemency Pogue to something, it would be Artemis Fowl. The hobgoblin character seemed a little similar to a troll (or something) in those books. Plus there is the attitude of not taking high fantasy characters seriously and satirizing them.